Don't you love it when a fertile person gives you advice? Usually it is to tell you to relax or to pray about it. Both proven methods, I am sure. But I really love when a fertile tells an infertile to quit obsessing about having a baby. I realize that there are women out there that truly do obsess about babies. But these are not the norm. Just like Octomom is not the norm. The average infertile is not obsessive, but focused. And what choice do we have? If you had cancer would you just relax and let it happen? Or would you fight it aggressively? If you let cancer grow without a fight you will one day run out of time. Fertility is much the same way. We are given this window of opportunity in which to conceive and once its over, its over.
We don't start out "obsessed", really we don't. Here is a breakdown of how it goes:
First few months: Hey, lets make a baby. So you have sex.
Months 3-6: pay closer attention to your cycle and have sex near your fertile time.
Months 7-9: begin to take your temp at the same time every day and schedule sex.
Months 10-12: pee on an ovulation test every morning for a week, schedule sex accordingly. Make sure not to flirt with hubby on Thursday because you can't have sex until Friday. Gotta save those spermies! And make sure hubby does not plan to go out with his buddies on Friday night in case you need him home. Hubby no longer wear briefs, but boxers. You both take vitamins and cut out caffeine. You try any and all advice people give you, even if it means standing on your head after sex.
After the first year: you begin searching online and read the word "infertility" which strikes fear in your heart. You are sure that is not you so you keep searching. The truth hits you like a ton of bricks and you call your doctor, still sure that you are not infertile.
Your doctor runs tests and assures you that you are still young and that whatever it is he is sure that he can fix it. Tests come back with a few issues and he prescribes some magic pills and you return to charting your cycle and timing sex. By this time you are beginning to feel a bit like a circus monkey, performing on command.
Another year passes..........
You are now beginning to get worried. You have been trying for 3 years. All of your friends are parents now, some even pregnant a second time. You are in your mid to late twenties. Still young, but you can see 30 on the horizon. Everyone knows that once you hit your 30's your egg timer starts ticking. Fertility does not get better with age. But you are not going to panic. You are going to see a fertility specialist. This will fix everything.
Your RE (fertility specialist) runs more tests. And now even a surgery or two. You discover that your problems are worse than you had originally thought. Now you are on more pills. You have to schedule ultrasounds. You have to reschedule that mini vacation now because of your ultrasound and later your IUI.
Years 5-6: IUI does not work. Now onto IVF. You have to take time off of work to go to your appointments. You are running out of sick days at work so you have to cancel your vacation this year and use your vacation days for your many appointments to the RE. But that's okay since you can no longer really afford that vacation now that you are paying upwards to $10,000 to do this procedure. You have to plan your days now. Injections at 7 am, pills at 9am, pills again at 2 pm and pills before bed. No caffeine, get enough rest, relax. But don't forget your pills. Or your appointments. Or the injections. One screw up could mess up the whole cycle.
Your whole life does begin to center around infertility. But is there any other way? Is this considered obsessive? To some it might, but really it isn't. There will come a time when you need to step back and take a break, maybe even quit altogether. But until then your life becomes a series of charts, pills, appointments and timed sex. This was not what you dreamed of as a young bride, but it is the life that you have been given. You make the best of it and hopefully at the end you are surrounded by your babies and it will all worth it.